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Amy Maxmen

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    The Crumbling Ancient Texts That May Hold Life-Saving Cures

    A page from a Timbuktu manuscript.Photograph by Amy Maxmen Seven hundred years ago, Timbuktu was a dream destination for scholars, traders, and religious men. At the southern edge of the Sahara desert in what is now Mali, travelers from Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, and Morocco met in the bygone metropolis to exchange gold, salt, and […]

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    Why Evolution Is Ageist

    Genetic mutation changes from adaptive to dangerous after reproductive age.

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    Strange Worms Are Taking Their Place on Your Family Tree

    The Cambrian explosion of animal life now seems more like a whimper.

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    How Slow Responses Made the Ebola Outbreak So Deadly

    As a rule, huge organizations move sluggishly, bogged down in democratic decision-making processes and bureaucratic policies. Ebola, on the other hand, moves fast. People become desperately sick and contagious within a few weeks of infection. By the time international agencies effectively responded to the ongoing Ebola outbreak, it had spiraled out of control in West […]

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    A Holy Land for Religion and Science

    In Ethiopia, evolution is not a threat to people of faith.

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    6 Traits of Tomorrow’s Blockbuster Digital Technologies

      If history adheres to timeless long-term trends, Walter Isaacson’s recent book on the digital revolution, The Innovators, could reveal a lot about the future of our digital age. Last week Isaacson, known for his biographies of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, spoke about the geniuses behind the last century of innovation at the New-York […]

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    Digging Through the World’s Oldest Graveyard

    In Ethiopia, paleontologists are pushing back the clock on humanity’s origins.

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    Turning Back the Clock on Human Evolution

    Digging through the world’s oldest graveyard with African paleontologists.

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    Evolution May Be Drunk, But It’s Serious About Making Brains

    A new study shows that the comb jelly Pleurobrachia bachei evolved its complex features, including neurons and muscles, separately from animals like us.Leonid Moroz and Mat Citarella Our brains, perched atop a network of nerve cells that ascend the length of our bodies, are thought to have arisen once in an animal hundreds of millions […]

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    This Valentine’s Day, Go Public or Go Home

    Ken Kraaijeveld unveils ancient secrets of seduction from the animal kingdom.